Jude Ozaluk before and after shaving her head. (Courtesy Chris Ozaluk)

When 8-year-old Jude Ozaluk signed up six months ago for the “Shave the Mayor” event in her hometown of Parker, Colo., to raise money for childhood cancer research, she set a fundraising goal of $750. Ozaluk met that mark thanks to generous donations from family members and friends. She exceeded it — by more than $10,000 — thanks to the power of social media, Reddit and an outpouring of support from Nationals fans who were taken by the story of how she befriended Jayson Werth last season and rekindled the friendship last week in  Colorado.

At the top of Ozaluk’s donor list, which is filled with more than 100 people who identify themselves as Nats fans, is a familiar name: “Jayson Werth and family supporting Jude.” Jude said that Werth told her he learned of her pledge to shave her head during Washington’s four-game series at Coors Field last week, when she presented her favorite player with a signed photo of herself and the two chatted before and after every game.

Jude received more than $8,000 in donations between Thursday and Saturday’s event, when she and about 100 other generous volunteers, including Parker Mayor Mike Waid, shaved their heads to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The hair collected will be used to make wigs for children with cancer.

“I was nervous, but I think it was cool to shave my head for cancer research and raise over $11,000, plus my hair,” said Jude, who raised the most money in the five-year history of the event and received a gold medal for being this year’s top fundraiser. “I feel really lucky that I could use this to help kids with cancer.”

“Words can’t even describe how proud I am,” Jude’s father, Chris, said.

“I just can’t believe the fans,” Jude’s mom, Danielle, said. “We have received so many messages. We went to a baseball game hoping that Jayson Werth would remember her from last season, and then this all just blossomed from there. To not even be in D.C. and then see these fans show her so much love is really just amazing.”

The Nationals won’t visit Denver again until next season, but Danielle said Jude is already dropping not-so-subtle hints about wanting to travel to Washington for a game this summer. A lot of people, including Werth, would be excited to see her.